Chronological Order Of Research Paper

Before introducing the parts and technical aspects, let’s take a look at the definition. A research paper is a substantial piece of academic writing in which the author thoroughly researches and analyzes a topic to present their results.

Table Of Contents

Pre-Writing Tip

Thorough and extensive research work in libraries and online sources must be done anyway. Then, you should write a good research paper structure that will help you to analyze your point or defend an argument. Your writing is better to be focused and must present clear sources.

Interesting Research Paper Topics

There are many interesting topics to write a research paper on, but the topic should be captivating on more than just an academic level. Ideally, the topic should relate to you or trigger your inner curiosity. If you don’t want your paper to be boring and robotic, then follow our instructions to find the most suitable topic.

Even though you can be limited by specific requirements or guidelines, selecting a topic is one of the most important steps in writing. Answer these questions before selecting a topic.

  • Do I have enough sources to create a proper research paper?
  • Is the topic new or unique enough to bring fresh ideas?
  • Is it relevant to my class/occupation?

Pick something you feel passionate about

If it’s possible, choose a topic that is close to you. Writing about something you like will not only make the process faster but will also naturally improve the quality of your writing. Moreover, your audience will feel that you put a piece of your soul into it.

Be creative

When you are starting a research paper for your class, consider your classmates. Consider several methods of approach to make your paper as unique as possible, especially if everyone is writing about the same thing.

It’s never too late

If you choose a topic, start researching, and understand that it is not the right topic to write about, don’t worry. Of course it will take much more time to rethink everything, but still, you can change your topic even if you begin researching other.

**TIP:**Mention that if you have one day left before the deadline, changing topic is not the best option.

Researching Process

Start analyzing

After you have finally decided on a topic, begin the research process. Use different sources of information including web pages, articles, books, encyclopedias, blog posts, etc. Try to find professional sources which offer valid information for your research. Use at least five sources for researching. The more sources you use, the more interesting and trustworthy your information will be.

Visit the library

Yes, it may seem to be old-fashioned, but libraries might full of required materials from books to journals and newspapers.

Surf the net

If you think that first three pages have the best information on your topic, then you are wrong. Use your critical thinking to thoroughly read through every source and determine if it is authentic.

Use websites that end with .edu, .gov, .org. as they are safe and contain reliable information.

Use Academic Databases

The best place to look for information are databases. They have a lot of peer-reviewed or scientifically published journals, magazines, and books available for you. The other side of the coin that many of these databases require a paid membership if you want to get access.

  • Find databases that mainly cover your subject.
  • Go to the school library and ask the librarian for access to the databases if they have one.

What is the goal?

Actually, there are two types of research paper: an analytical research paper and an argumentative research paper. Each of these requires a slightly different approach and writing style. Identify your type of paper before writing a rough draft.

  • An argumentative research paper takes a position on a controversial issue and covers the most important arguments for and against.
  • An analytic research paper should present your point of view about an important issue. This is not only a reduplication of ideas from your research but a presentation of your own unique thoughts based on what you have learned through research.

Title Page

The title page, also known as a cover page, will be the first thing your reader is going to be exposed to. This is why it's very important to follow the already established format. The following things MUST be included:

  • Your Name
  • Title
  • Class Name (teacher name optional)
  • School
  • Date
  • Your contact information (phone, email, address)

How To Start?

It is also highly recommended to work with an outline. By creating your outline, you will be narrowing down the positions to research on and build the skeleton of your text. A complete outline makes it a lot easier and faster to complete the final draft of your paper.

The first step of writing is the research process. Once you have chosen a subject and decided upon a position, it is easy to know where to start research. After gathering a good amount of information and sources (some teachers will require a specific number of sources for your project), you can go on and start to create your outline. Once your sources have been included in the outline and you know where you’re heading, you can begin drafting your paper. Then comes the editing and revisions, and finally it will be ready to hand in.

Determine the main points

The body of your paper will be based on ideas that you mark as the most important. Go through your paper and highlight the main points and ideas that you can write a paragraph about and ideas that have plenty of solid facts to back them up with evidence.


Now let’s talk about how to write an outline. You can find some templates and outlines on the internet. But in some cases, instructors will give out their preferred outline. These are the fundamental parts:

  • A cover page, or title page
  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion

Of course, you must also include a list of sources in a rubric at the end of your paper. They must be ordered and written according to the MLA research paper format. Some teachers refer to an APA format when recording your sources. Be sure to verify according to which method your work must be done. It is very important to include your sources, and if you would not do it, your work will be considered plagiarized.


The introduction will be the initial impression of your research. This is where you present your position on the subject. This is called a thesis statement and is very important. The goal of your paper is to persuade the reader that your position is the strongest.

A good example for the introduction would be a fascinating fact or a triggering theory that is going to establish a connection with the reader and invite him to engage with the text. There are several ways of creating good introductions, either by quoting someone who has succeeded in the discussed field or stating a mind-blowing statistics. It’s all about making it sound unique and interesting.


A thesis statement is one of the most efficient ways to establish a coherent base and structure. Now like never you are going to use your outline as a guide for creating your thesis statement.

One of the biggest mistakes made when it comes to writing a thesis statement is filling it with unnecessary information. If your outline includes sufficient information regarding the research paper, then creating a thesis statement should not cause you any trouble.

In chronological order, the state most important to the points. Make sure that there is a transition from your opening paragraph to the thesis statement, as well as a transition out of it. This will grant you a smooth sentence flow.

Finally, if you have placed points in the right order in your thesis, make sure you are following this structure. Switching the points around will only confuse the audience and misguide them.


The body is divided into as many paragraphs as you have arguments. For each argument, present an example, or fact, that is related, and include a reliable source that proves it. You will want to present strong arguments for your position, as well as arguments against your position. In the case of the arguments against your position, your job is to show it isn’t credible by including sources that disprove it.

  • Make sure to support any stated arguments, points, ideas, with sufficient evidence. As we try to avoid ungrounded opinions, this will increase the credibility of your work.
  • It is welcomed to cite known people who have contributed or succeeded in the field as it will demonstrate your intelligence on the subject.
  • Break your paragraphs as often as possible to separate ideas. Massive blocks of text will bore your audience and keep them from completing the reading.

How to Write a Conclusion

Now, let’s look at how to write a conclusion. Conclusions should make a lasting effect on the reader, and it should incite action among the readers. It's quite common to rephrase your thesis statement in conclusion as a summary of every important aspect you have covered.

Make sure to state the subject importance as well as the paper’s general view on it. You need to finish strong. Your concluding sentence must be very precise and relevant. As this is going to be the last thing the reader is going to the reader, try to make an impact so that the entirety of your work will be captured in his mind.

How to Write an Abstract

Quite often you are going to be required to create an abstract. Don’t feel burdened by that. If you ever have written a book summary or any summary, as a matter of fact, it’s going to be an easy ride for you. An abstract is essentially a one-paragraph summary of your entire work, usually ranging from 300-400 words, covering your main ideas, any essential milestones, your discoveries, and your personal statement regarding the matter.

It's important to understand that your abstract should sum up the entire research paper. If a reader was given an abstract only, would he be able to comprehend the meaning of your work?
There are multiple types of abstract, and they suit different types of writings:

  • A Critical Abstract: Compares to other possible works related to the subject.
  • A Descriptive Abstract: Objectively summarizes the work without opinions.
  • An Informative Abstract: Goes more into details regarding results and includes all aspects of experiments, researchers, etc.
  • A Highlight Abstract: Not very often used in academic papers as it serves the purpose of engaging the audience to read the paper and does not provide a full summary.

Post-Writing Process

Create the final draft

As you have edited your paper and finished all requirements, it’s time to make the final draft. Take a red pen or pencil and go through your paper thoroughly. Fix all mistakes and delete pieces of information if necessary. Edit the font, line spacing, and margins if you want to meet the requirements.


During your research work do not forget to track and write down your sources or references. At the end, write down your sources in MLA, APA, or Chicago referencing style, whichever your instructor requires.


Writing Tip From Our Team

Prof. Oscar, EssayPro

The research process is always the more challenging aspect of essay writing. This article adequately articulates how to write an excellent paper. The best research essay writing tip I’ve ever received was to keep track of my sources from the very beginning of your research process.

Another good piece of advice is to start from tertiary sources and build your way up to reliable internet websites or books/encyclopedias. If you know you’re going to use a source for sure, start an annotated bibliography. While you draft your essay, build your Works Cited or Bibliography page as soon as you cite all your sources; this is the most important piece of advice I could give you. I cannot stress this enough: college professors and high school teachers hate plagiarism. Proper citation of your sources means everything; there have been cases of expulsion from institutions. To recap my advice for you: keep every single one of your sources in a separate document (as a link or otherwise), start an annotated bibliography to keep track of the information that you want to use in your essay, and start your Works Cited as fast as possible. I hope this information was useful, and if you ever need any research paper help - find me on

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Structure of a Research Paper

While academic disciplines vary on the exact format and style of journal articles in their field, most articles contain similar content and are divided in parts that typically follow the same logical flow.  Following is a list of the parts commonly found in research articles.  

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion/Conclusion
  • References/Bibliography

Research papers are organized so that the information flow resembles an hourglass in that it goes from general  to specific and then back to general again.  The introduction and literature review sections will introduce the problem and provide general information. The methods and results will provide specific, detailed information about this research project and the discussion/conclusion will discuss the findings in a larger context. The following section will describe each of these parts in more detail.  Additional information can be found in the Resources section of this module and in the Suggested Readings.


The title should be specific and indicate the problem the research project addresses using keywords that will be helpful in literature reviews in the future.


The abstract is used by readers to quickly review the overall content of the paper.  Journals typically place strict word limits on abstracts, such as 200 words, making them a challenge to write.  The abstract should provide a complete synopsis of the research paper and should introduce the topic and the specific research question, provide a statement regarding methodology and should provide a general statement about the results and the findings.  Because it is really a summary of the entire research paper, it is often written last.


The introduction begins by introducing the broad overall topic and providing basic background information.  It then narrows down to the specific research question relating to this topic.  It provides the purpose and focus for the rest of the paper and sets up the justification for the research.

Literature Review

The purpose of the literature review is to describe past important research and it relate it specifically to the research problem.  It should be a synthesis of the previous literature and the new idea being researched.  The review should examine the major theories related to the topic to date and their contributors.  It should include all relevant findings from credible sources, such as academic books and peer-reviewed journal articles.


The methods section will describe the research design and methodology used to complete to the study.  The general rule of thumb is that readers should be provided with enough detail to replicate the study.


In this section, the results of the analysis are presented.  How the results are presented will depend upon whether the research study was quantitative or qualitative in nature.  This section should focus only on results that are directly related to the research or the problem. Graphs and tables should only be used when there is too much data to efficiently include it within the text.  This section should present the results, but not discuss their significance.


This section should be a discussion of the results and the implications on the field, as well as other fields. The hypothesis should be answered and validated by the interpretation of the results.  This section should also discuss how the results relate to previous research mentioned in the literature review, any cautions about the findings, and potential for future research.


The research paper is not complete without the list of references. This section should be an alphabetized list of all the academic sources of information utilized in the paper.  The format of the references will match the format and style used in the paper.  Common formats include APA, MLA, Harvard and so forth.

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